Certificate of Authenticity

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Certificate of authenticity - what is it and why do I need one?


Buying a luxury watch isn’t as simple as going online and picking one you like. There are a few things to consider before you purchase your luxury watch. The brand's reputation and quality, the form and function of the watch, your budget and, most importantly, whether it has a certificate of authenticity. But what is a certificate of authenticity anyway? And why does your new watch need one?

Founded in Adelaide, South Australia, Watch Frontier offers high-quality watches at competitive prices - stocking brands like Seiko, Citizen, Pulsar and Casio. And because we’re an authorised retail partner of all these luxury brands, we offer a certificate of authenticity with every watch. We also provide a range of payment options, including PayPal and Afterpay, so you can buy now and pay later. 

Read on to learn more about certificates of authenticity, why they’re important, and how to check if your watch is authentic. 


What is a certificate of authenticity?

So you’ve been told only to buy a watch that has a certificate of authenticity. Great, no problem. The only thing you need to know is - what the heck is a certificate of authenticity?

A certificate of authenticity (COA) comes in a variety of formats - a seal, sticker, or even a small slip of paper. In most cases, it’s a seal on a small slip of paper. But just because it’s small, doesn’t mean it’s not important. That sticker, or piece of paper, is what certifies that your watch is the real deal - and that it isn’t just some cheap knock-off made in someone’s basement. 



But why should you believe a bit of paper? Because all COAs are signed by a reputable appraiser or watch expert. They also have the qualifications and full contact information of the person, or company, that created the COA - along with their full contact information. Pretty fool-proof, huh? 

We are an authorised retail partner with the official brands that we sell. This way, we can provide a certificate of authenticity in every box. So when you buy a watch from us, you know you’re getting the genuine article.    


Why is a certificate of authenticity important?

Buying a watch with a COA is vital for a few reasons. Firstly, it proves that the watch you’re buying is authentic and made from the finest materials. Secondly, a COA shows that your watch is worth the investment and belongs to a great lineage of exceptional watches.  

Sure, you might only care about buying a high-quality luxury watch right now, but having a COA will be helpful for the future as well. For example, a COA can also act as a receipt and record of your purchase. That way, you can always prove that the watch belongs to you if the situation should ever arise. 

And if you ever decide to appraise or sell your watch down the track, a COA can be useful in assessing its origin and value. In fact, investing in a luxury watch can be more profitable than trying your hand in the stock markets.

Fun fact: since the 70s, the price of a stainless steel Rolex has never depreciated



And while a luxury car depreciates the more you drive it, an authentic, high-end watch can be worn every day AND still sold for a profit. It’s a win-win!

Read: Best Gold Watches for Men and Women


How will I know if my watch is authentic?

Not everyone is a watch expert. And that magnificent watch you just bought online might seem like a beauty, but how can you be sure that it’s the real Mccoy?

Certificate of authenticity

It’s a no-brainer, right? A genuine, premium watch will come with a COA.

Incorrect model number

A watch’s model number is a unique set of numbers given to that specific watch. They’re used to differentiate a watch from other timepieces made by the same company. 

Phony model numbers are common amongst fake watches. Look for any incorrect ending digits on your watch’s model number.

Wrong serial number

Take a look at the number engraved on your watch’s case between six o’clock and the lugs. You’ll need to remove the bracelet or strap to see it. That’s your watch’s serial number. Think of it as your watch’s unique ID - it’s used to track the owner, repair and timeline.

 There are loads of websites, such as Trusted.com, that provide databases of known counterfeit numbers. 

Colour discrepancies

Counterfeit watches can have off-coloured metal or colours that are slightly different from the original, authentic watch. So if your watch doesn’t ‘look’ right, it probably isn’t!

The cyclops window is the wrong magnification

Aptly named after the one-eyed giant, the cyclops window is a magnifying lens placed outside the watch crystal to make the date look bigger.

In a fake watch, the date in the cyclops will be over or under magnified. Real luxury watches have a specific magnification. 


How do I get a certificate of authenticity for my watch?

The great thing about COAs is that you don’t need to buy a new watch every time. It’s possible to get a COA for your old watch. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Look for designer signatures, hallmarks or serial and model numbers. Some brands even stamp their watches with a logo. If you find one, great! But this doesn’t always mean your watch is the real thing. 
  • Have your watch examined by an expert. Take it to your local watchmaker and get as much information about your watch as possible. The watchmaker’s assessment will be included on the COA to help determine how much the watch is worth.
  • Take your watch to a certified appraiser. If there isn’t one in your area, contact your country's appraisal organisation or association to find someone who is certified. The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) or the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) can also be helpful. They’ll provide a COA if the watch is authentic. 


If you’re after a new watch or want to authenticate an old one, head over to Watch Frontier. We have the best watches in Australia at great prices. Take a look at our full range here

Happy shopping!